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The Only Way is Ethics (TOWIE)


A dynamic project that empowered hard-to-reach young people to explore concepts of citizenship through the archives of a political movement.

The Only Way Is Ethics: Radical Citizenship was a youth-led, Creative Heritage Training programme delivered by Emergency Exit Arts in partnership with Bishopsgate Institute. Its aim was to support young adults develop a professional practice through political discussion and a dynamic exploration of ideas. It was made possible with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme and the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All.

The project delivered: 14 training sessions and 444 hours of training contact time; 8 whole group planning meetings; over 20 event/workshop planning sessions; 4 Gold Arts Awards; 6 Action Learning sessions; a public exhibition at Bishopsgate Institute; 5 public events and 1 invite-only event; a workshop and classroom learning resources; a Creative Heritage Scrapbook; a website and a blog.

21 young people took part in the 18 month programme. This group more closely reflected London’s young and ethnically diverse population than the heritage sector workforce as a whole. Most of the young people had some prior experience of participation and volunteering in the arts and heritage sectors.

Over 25 heritage, arts and citizenship organisations were partners of the project. These included Autograph ABP and Southbank Centre.

Over 4,000 audience members and public participants took part in TOWIE through events, workshops and digital platforms.

“I want to create spaces for lifelong learning that encourage discussion, remove exclusivity, provoke thought and demand action.”

Alex, Young Heritage Producer

The young people acquired skills and experience included cataloguing and keywording, interpretation, engagement strategies, facilitation, working as a collective/group, networking and building professional contacts, time management and leading workshops with children. 

The trainees have continued to take up paid and unpaid opportunities in the arts and heritage sectors; one has gained full time, permanent employment at the British Museum; one has fixed-term employment in the arts; one is working on projects with the Project Producer; some are working collectively as event producers and workshop facilitators and these have been engaged by the Antiuniversity Festival and National Gallery amongst others.

Changing lives: TOWIE helps Jessica bag a job

  • Sound Of resistance Autograph 4 19 2 2016
  • What Crisis Bishopsgate Institute 3 29 10 2015
  • Serving Up The Future for Parliament Week 1 21 11 2015
  • Revolt into Sanity Southbank Centre 1 24 10 2015

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